Cooking holidays and wine / Guest reviews / Solo travellers

French patisserie cooking course near Bordeaux – Jennifer’s fantastic review of baking, eating, baking, eating!

glazing strawberriesIf you love sugary treats and sweet pastries, this is the holiday for you! Jennifer wanted to improve her baking skills and relax on holiday at the same time, so she joined our French patisserie cooking course near Bordeaux for a culinary experience like no other with our friendly chef Marlene.

Discover what her time in the kitchen was like here…

What made you choose this French pastry cookery course in Bordeaux in particular, do you usually choose activity holidays rather than beach holidays or was this a new experience?
I have always wanted to do a baking course in France, because firstly being a sweet tooth, I’m always ready to improve my dessert making skills and the fact that French pastry is so worldly renowned, it’s definitely something for someone who loves baking. This was quite a new experience for me, although I don’t have a particular holiday preference, it depends very much on what kind of mood I’m in, and I’m quite open up to any new experiences.
2. choc eclairs

How did you find the booking process with and did anyone in particular help you?
The booking process was quite straight forward and user-friendly, I firstly had to decide on which course I wanted to do and the date I wanted to go. The booking online is very convenient and quick, I was contacted by an agent within 24hrs after booking.

Was this your first holiday as a solo traveller? Did you have any apprehensions about travelling solo before you arrived?
It wasn’t my first time travelling alone, but it’s probably my first holiday alone. I think having a purpose with your travelling is important if you decide to be a solo-traveller, it would certainly makes it less frightening. The fact that everything was so well planned and organised beforehand reduces the apprehensions and stress. Nevertheless, I did worry a little when I found out I was the only one doing this course, because I was expecting to meet other people and share our experiences. But because Marlene and Marc made me feel so at home, I even felt lucky to be there alone, since I really got the chance to make all the pastries hands on from beginning to end.

6. finished products!How was staying in Marc and Marlene’s home like?
As a solo traveller, I had to pay an extra supplement for the accommodation, but I felt it was all worth it because I got a really spacious cottage bedroom and a really comfy double bed all for myself. I had a lovely time staying with the family, who are all so friendly and warm. The whole experience was relaxing and enjoyable.

What was chef Marlene like as a teacher?
Marlene was an amazing teacher, she had the course very well planned and divided out throughout the day. She was willing to teach you patiently all you want to learn. She’s skilled in what she teaches, and would show you all the little tips in the kitchen. 4. croissants

What was your favourite dish you learnt to bake?
Everything. Brioche, croissants, éclairs, millefeuilles….It’s difficult to choose a favourite dish, because they are all what I wanted to learn and I did…

What was the best cooking tip you learnt?
I’m not sure if it’s a tip, but we have figured out that it takes 6 hours to make croissants, 6 seconds to eat them, and they will stay in your hips for 6 years…, but why do people still make them? Because they’re really good!

Have you been practicing your new patisserie skills since you returned home?
I still have the recipes out in the kitchen, and have bought all those ingredients, only to make time to start practicing! It makes you realise why those few days away was so precious, when you don’t have other matters in your mind but just bake, eat, bake and eat…

5. lemon bavouirsWould you take another holiday with in the future?
Without doubt! Either alone or with someone, I have already spread the idea to others, and people do think it’s a great idea for a holiday with a difference. is a good choice, because it provides so many different kinds of learning holiday and it’s a good opportunity to learn a new skill!

What would you tell people who were considering booking this holiday – any top tips?!
I would suggest planning your transports well before you travel, check trains schedule etc., and make contact with Marlene if you have any questions, she’s very helpful and approachable!

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